OTTAWA - Flyers defenseman Brandon Manning said he expected to be cleared by team doctors Friday and hoped to be available for the matinee Saturday against visiting Chicago.

Thursday's game was the third straight he missed because of an upper-body injury.

"The last few days, I feel a lot better," he said after a one-hour practice session Thursday. In 21 games, Manning has three goals, nine points, and a plus-1 rating.

Meanwhile, goalie Michal Neuvirth and center Sean Couturier are making progress from knee injuries. General manager Ron Hextall said Neuvirth was expected to resume skating Friday.

Neuvirth could return in about two weeks, and Couturier is expected back in late December.

Giroux engaged

Captain Claude Giroux and his longtime girlfriend, Ryanne Breton, got engaged Wednesday in Ottawa. Both grew up in the Ottawa area, and they met four years ago and began dating.

"It's been a long time coming," Giroux, 28, said, before the game against the Senators. "It's pretty exciting."

The couple celebrated with family Wednesday night. On Twitter, Breton wrote: "There are no words! This man. My heart is so full."

Giroux, who on Tuesday ended a nine-game streak without a goal, entered Thursday tied for fifth in the NHL with 15 assists. He took a league-high 12 power-play points into the night.


The Flyers had just six players at their optional morning skate: Steve Mason, Anthony Stolarz, Manning, Scott Laughton, Boyd Gordon, and Nick Schultz. . . . Gordon, sidelined since Oct. 29, said he was healthy enough to play. "It's hard sitting out and watching. It's the worst part of hockey," he said. . . . Because of weather-related problems, the Flyers' flight Wednesday landed in Buffalo before going to Ottawa. . . . Ivan Provorov is averaging 20 minutes, 16 seconds per game, which is second on the Flyers to Shayne Gostisbehere (20:55) and fifth among NHL rookies. . . . Travis Konecny, who had 21/2 excellent seasons with Ottawa in the Ontario Hockey League, had numerous friends at the game. He said he planned to go through the same pregame routine as when he played here to "bring back some of the memories." . . . The Senators' Bobby Ryan (Cherry Hill) has a bone bruise on his right hand and is unable to shoot. He is out indefinitely. . . . Temple's Henry Burris, the 41-year-old quarterback who was the MVP as Ottawa won the Canadian Football League's Grey Cup by beating Calgary, was among the players honored before the game.